Water-based accessible sports in Cambridgeshire

sailing boat imageSailing at Grafham Water

A new Sailability season offering opportunities to people with disabilities, starts at Grafham Water, near Huntingdon, on April 6. And will run through to the end of October.

The main sessions are on Thursday afternoons, from around 1-4.30pm and the first taster session is free.  After that membership is £30 a year.

Grafham Water Sailability charity is run by disabled sailors and able-bodied helpers. And aims to coach all new members to sail to the best of their ability, whether with  sailing buddies or solo sailing. There are also skippered trips in the club’s Drascombe Longboat.

Anybody interested in sailing with us, or their carers, should make first contact by email then arrange a Thursday visit.

Visit the Graham Water Sailability website

adaptable rowing boat for disabled

Rowing in Cambridge

Based off St. Andrew’s Road, Chesterton. It is one of only two Cambridgeshire  with an Adaptive Rowing programme, the club has two stable single sculling boats to open up rowing to people with diverse physical impairments.  The boats can be adjusted to accommodate rowers with various abilities. Almost all learners start their rowing experience in stable boats which have a safety line attached so that the coach can control their location on the river while they learn the basics.

The club is  happy to arrange a taster session at a time that suits you. Small groups also very welcome.

Young people with disabilities (minimum age 11) are very welcome to go along to a taster session at the club but must be able to:

  • respond to instructions so they are safe on the water
  • get in and out of boat – club helpers happy to assist, but please note that the club has no hoist

A taster session covers:

Introductions, initial boat set-up, briefing on rowing basics; Rower gets into the boat & tries some rowing! Club helper accompanies on the bank & makes minor adjustments if needed and a debrief

At future sessions, the boat set up can be tweaked to suit the rower and time spent on the water is gradually built up.

You can find out more on their website: www.cantabsrowing.org.uk/adaptive/


Sessions for swimmers with disabilities

Most clubs in Cambridgeshire welcome disability swimmers and where possible provide inclusive training opportunities.


Here you can find details about swimming opportunities in Cambridgeshire: https://www.swimcambs.org/disability/disability-swimming/

Level Water: free 1:1 swimming lessons in Cambridge

Level Water are the only UK swimming charity who provide specialist one-to-one swimming lessons for children with physical and sensory disabilities.

Once each child has learnt to swim 15m front crawl and backstroke, they can be safe and independent in the water, and can join group swimming lessons or join their local competitive club.

Cambridge Disabled Kids Swimming Club for 0-19s

The swimming club is aimed at children of any age from birth to 19 with any disability. As far as possible, sessions are run by a qualified instructor with a number of volunteers. The club is working with Cambridge City Council Sports Development Team to expand the number of sessions available, aiming to provide opportunities for all abilities. The details of all the sessions follow: www.cdksc.co.uk

Swimming for Disabled athletes

There are two dedicated swimming groups for disabled athletes:

Peterborough Special Olympics Swimming Group train at the each Friday between 8.00pm to 9.00pm at the Jack Hunt Pool. This is a closed session for PSOSG they use all four lanes. Training on Sunday is between 8.00pm and 9.00pm at the Jack Hunt Pool. This is part of a public swimming session with 2 lanes used by the group.

City of Cambridge Swimming Club has a  Para Swimming Squad that is open to all disabled swimmers aged 8yrs and over, including adults.

Diverse Swim School and Hydrotherapy offer private hydrotherapy and swimming lessons. They have a special interest in working with children with physical disability and additional needs including challenging behaviour. Email enquiries to: info@diverseswim.com